Peru, Morocco evacuation plan in the works

Local | 30 Mar 2020 4:31 pm

The Hong Kong government is drawing up plans to bring home residents stranded in Peru and Morocco because of the coronavirus global pandemic, sources have told RTHK.

Both countries have imposed travel restrictions, making it difficult for visitors to leave, including 86 Hong Kong people in Peru and 37 in Morocco.

Sources say the government has been liaising with several airlines to arrange outbound flights for Hong Kong residents in the north African nation. Residents are mostly in the two major cities of Casablanca and Marrakesh.

But the arrangements are proving trickier when it comes to Peru, where a Hong Kong tourist died last week after being infected with the coronavirus.

The residents are scattered in different parts of the country and would first have to make their way to the capital, Lima, before they could fly out.

Peru announced a state of emergency just over two weeks ago and strict curfew regulations are being enforced, with those breaching the rules risking detention.

Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam said he had spoken to some of those stranded in Peru and they told him that Hong Kong immigration officials had spoken to them about bringing them home.

However, there is no word yet as to when any charter flights could take off.

Tam said the SAR government could join hands with its neighbours for an evacuation operation.

"We can look at countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, they have already had some chartered flights [from Peru]," he said.

The legislator added that Britain was arranging another flight out of Peru this week and Hong Kong residents who are BNO passport holders could take that to London, before returning to the SAR.

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